How We Pack School Lunches

How We Pack School Lunches

Hi all!

Sorry for being MIA the last two days. We did a lot of work on the house this weekend so Monday’s recipe post just didn’t happen. Plus, my taste tester was out of commission and not feeling well!


Today is “How We” Wednesday with Erika and Shay. We discuss topics throughout the year on how we tackle or approach certain areas of our life. With the dawn of a new school year approaching, today is about packing school lunches.

Now, let me start off with a disclaimer. This topic in general was likely aimed at mothers with children for them to share how they pack their lunches for school. However, I work for a school district therefore I pack my own school breakfasts and lunches. At least most of the time. 


I tend to do things backwards. Breakfast is pretty routine for me and I eat when I get to work and start checking emails. I pack a small container of Cheerios, either a smoothie or piece of fruit, and/or something like a Larabar. Since I like to eat small meals throughout the day and don’t like to feel super stuffed, I’ll eat a little something every hour or hour and a half. The lounge at work has coffee and sonic-ice so I’ll bring a reusable water bottle or keep a coffee cup in my desk.


After thinking about the format for describing my lunches, I thought I would divide by levels of procrastination. Because lunch meal planning just doesn’t happen sometimes. Given the nature of my job, lunch can either be at 11:30 or at 2:00. Or it’s a bite at 11:00 and two bites at 12:30 pm. I just never know.

Level 1: Minimal Procrastination = Legit Lunch

Good examples of this type of lunch may include pasta or noodles with pesto and veggies. I may also have some kind of taco salad or soup. Generally, if I have dinner leftovers, I’ll try to portion out my lunch for the next day. I’ve been enjoying these veggie noodles with Trader Joe’s vegan pesto and vegetable patties. 

Level 2: Moderate Procrastination = Typical Lunch

Honestly, I’m usually at a level 2. Let me take this opportunity to talk to you about “Mexican Mash.” Mexican Mash received its name from a former coworker of mine who is also one of the greatest human beings on the planet. Mexican Mash is pretty much any type of Mexican food thrown together and can be easily enjoyed with chips. For example, you might have a leftover enchilada, beans, and rice. Throw it all together and top with salsa and chips. My version of Mexican Mash usually consists of cooked rice, black beans or canned refried beans, salsa or veggies, and spices. What I like best about Mexican Mash is that it’s super filling plus cheap and economical.

I have also been enjoying these vegan power bowls for lunch. I can eat it by itself or with chips, over salad, or with tortillas.

Level 3: Extreme Procrastination = Pantry Raid

I stumble upon this level maybe once or twice a week, usually if I have been out of town over the weekend and haven’t made it to the grocery store. My lunch will consist of multiple “snack items” or I’ll visit Chipotle or Jason’s Deli across the street from work. Multiple snack items may include hummus and pretzels, salsa and chips, apple and peanut butter, trail mix, more Cheerios, etc.


Well, it’s probably not exactly what you expected. It’s nothing fancy. But it’s lunch!!

Mexican Mash Forever,



18 thoughts on “How We Pack School Lunches”

  • I like your commitment level style! I fall into two or three more often than one for sure! I love a good veggie burger over lettuce or chips too.

  • Haha! I like how you formatted this! Do you bring milk for your Cheerios? I have lunch at the same time at school but it’s 20 minutes to go to the restroom and eat. I like to heat up leftovers and have it ready to go the night before. You are lucky to have two healthy places across the street!

  • Props to you for switching up your lunches! For whatever reason I always think of dinner leftovers as leftovers for another night’s dinner. Probably because it gives me a night off from cooking haha

  • YUM, Mexican Mash is right up my alley! I have those days where it’s just a pantry raid too tho, but hey it one way to eat up all the small amounts of stuff left 😉

  • I need to find my moderate procrastination mode haha. For some reason, I always either have a legit lunch or I fold, and get Chipotle or sushi. Also, I love seeing what other adults pack for lunch! I used to eat out for lunch every day and, aside from the fact that you never really know what’s in your food, it’s SO expensive. I love seeing blog posts like this for inspiration!

  • Lunches can be so tricky. Thankfully I’m able to run home on my lunch hour but the hardest part is me packing things for the kids that they would enjoy or for Eric. I enjoy a heartier lunch and a lighter dinner. When in doubt pantry raid for sure lol. Sierra Beautifully Candid

  • First off – I hope your taste tester is feeling better… I love your “Mexican Mash” idea. I’m usually doing that style of meal for dinner post workout and/or when hubby isn’t home for dinner – brown rice, canned beans, salsa/avocado/dressing and some baby spinach. My dog love the rice and bean mix, plain of course. And I can relate on the procrastination level of meals… For desperation…At work, I keep a can of kidney beans, yogurt, cheese sticks, and protein bars on hand/frig for desperate times… and I don’t want to drive somewhere and stand in line for food.

    • He is MUCH better thanks for asking!! Your version of mexican mash sounds terrific. That’s a good idea to keep things on hand at work in case of an emergency. I ought to do that

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